Lincoln MKZ Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show

LincolnMKZConcept

  • Looks like: Lincoln's getting closer to finding a winning design theme
  • Defining characteristics: Split-wing grille, panoramic glass roof, LED instruments, push-button transmission
  • Ridiculous features: Seat perforations made to look like champagne bubbles
  • Chance of being mass-produced: The redesigned MKZ sedan should look something like this when it hits dealerships later this year

Lincoln says the concept car you see here "strongly hints" at the production MKZ slated to arrive at dealerships later in 2012. If that holds, it will represent a significant departure for Lincoln's volume MKZ, which until now has closely mimicked the design of its platform mate, the Ford Fusion.

More 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The changes start up front, where the MKZ Concept gets the latest iteration of Lincoln's split-wing grille, which has been in a constant state of evolution since its debut a few years ago. This is about as good as the grille has looked, with one of the key changes being the replacement of the vertical slats with horizontal ones that help emphasize the car's width.

A full-glass roof meets a swept-back rear window, and the tail of the concept is finished with a wide taillight bar and exhaust tips that are integrated into the lower body trim. Like the redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion, which also debuted at the Detroit Auto Show, the MKZ Concept has an appealing gracefulness though I'm not completely convinced Lincoln has found the right variation on its split-wing grille just yet.

For a concept, the MKZ's cabin is rather conventional. Even the touch-sensitive sliders on the center control panel don't seem that far-fetched because Lincoln already uses ones like them in the MKX crossover. There are a few interesting touches, including a push-button gear selector, configurable LCD gauges and leather upholstery that's perforated to resemble champagne bubbles rising in a glass. Yes, really.

Lincoln has its work cut out for it as it tries to lure back luxury-car shoppers because there's just so much out there these days competing for their attention. A production version of the MKZ Concept might be able to cut through the noise but it won't be easy. While Ford may want to revitalize Lincoln overnight, it's going to take time to restore the brand.

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Lincoln MKZ Concept

Comments 

Ken L.

I'm not a huge fan of sedans of any kind, but this looks very good. It also has the technology to set it apart from its Ford platform mate and the competition. Too bad they won't be calling this the Continental, that name conjures up a world traveler.

Dee

Wow, super cool!!!

sheth

interior is hot, hopefully thats what the production interior looks like. I hope Lincoln gives this car the 300hp V6 and not just a four cylinder.

Jay

@Sheth:
Why would this car need the 300HP V6? I thought you mentioned on one of the Fusion posts a mid size vehicle does not need a V6 and the 274HP 4-cyl is more than adequate. Also, from other posts, you are pro-4-cylinder for all the entry-mid class luxury cars. Why a different opinion today?

Jay

I think this Lincoln concept looks awesome in/out, however, it still favors the new Fusion/Mazda 6 in profile. Need to see the final production copy.

sheth

Jay:

Uh- this is a luxury car with a higher price. 240hp or so is fine for mainstream cars like the Fusion. It should have an optional V6 to compete well against TL and ES350. Few cars NEED 300hp, but in a $40k car people expect that much hp.

Emerson

this car seems like it could do a good job at stealing customers away from the lexus es and buick lacrosse

Chris

@Jay

I don't see any similarity between this car and the Mazda 6, except perhaps that they both use the "coupe" roof-line, and that could be said of several different cars. Even the similarity between the MKZ and the new Fusion is tenuous at best. Neither share a single piece of sheet metal and both were designed by entirely different design teams. I pulled both up and the first think I noticed was the slope of the roof of the MKZ noticeably different, and it has broad, sculpted shoulders and a slight bustle on the trunk...although, there are similarities in the slope of the windshield and the overhangs are similar, but that's all I see.

Unless I'm mistaken, the 2013 Fusion and MKZ concept are on the Mondeo platform, so any connection that once exited with Madza is now gone.

RX350 owner

Wow...seems like 2012 is gonna be a new era in automotive industry... many automakers with history of a blend design seem to have learn the trick ! Very cool.

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